Real Name: James Burnside
Aliases: Al Wilson
Wanted For: Murder, Attempted Murder
Missing Since: February 17, 1988
Details: Jim Burnside is wanted for the murder of his estranged wife, Annette Burnside, and the attempted murder of one of her coworkers on February 17, 1988, in Manatee County, Florida. Annette Schappacher had dropped out of high school and was working as a cashier at a grocery store when she met Jim, who was the butcher at the store. The two started out as friends, but one day Jim asked her out on a date, even though there was a twenty-eight year age gap. From the beginning, Annette's parents did not like Jim, but they accepted the relationship because they wanted their daughter to be happy.
In 1981, Annette and Jim were married; Annette was just eighteen, while Jim was forty-six. Within weeks of the marriage, Jim began drinking. Annette became frightened of him because he was jealous and verbally abusive. The abuse eventually turned physical; one year after they were married, Annette took refuge at a battered women's shelter. Annette called Jim from the shelter; he told her that he would kill her family if she did not return. Against her parents' wishes, Annette returned to Jim. The couple had two daughters within the next few years, and it appeared that the relationship was improving. When Jim lost his job, he let Annette get a job as a receptionist for a car dealership.
One of Annette's co-workers, "Dave", helped Annette buy her own car. Jim, however, felt that his wife was getting too much freedom, so he decided to damage the car. He then threatened to kill Annette if she ever left him; he even threatened to kill their daughters as well. The next day, while Jim was at work, Annette called the police, asking them to escort her and her daughters out of the home. By the time Jim came home, Annette was on a plane to Ohio to leave her daughters with relatives. Five days later, Annette secretly returned to Florida so she could continue to work.
Unfortunately, Jim eventually discovered that Annette was back in town. He began spying on Annette; he also called her parents, threatening to kill her. Her family reported the incidents to police, but they said that nothing could be done unless Annette was actually harmed. On February 17, 1988, three days before Annette was scheduled to testify in court regarding the divorce, she came to work as usual. At around 12 pm, she met her co-worker Dave in his car for lunch. Then, Annette noticed that Jim was approaching the vehicle. Jim bashed the car window in with his shotgun. Dave got out of the car to confront Jim, but he was then shot in the stomach. Annette tried to flee, but tragically she was unsuccessful. Jim Burnside caught up with her and stabbed her to death. Dave was rushed to the hospital and survived.
Burnside was able to escape in broad daylight. He bought several items from a sporting goods store, then withdrew a large amount of money. Two and a half years later, a groundskeeper approached a stranger at Annette's grave; the stranger fled the scene. The groundskeeper identified the stranger as Jim Burnside. He has not been seen since.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the October 23, 1991 episode. Annette's co-worker's identity was concealed for the segment; he was given the fictitious name "Dave".
Results: Captured. On the night of the broadcast, two viewers contacted the telecenter to report that Burnside was living in Shelby County, Alabama, under the assumed name Al Wilson. Burnside was working at a flea market at the time. The next morning, federal authorities arrived at the flea market; Burnside noticed them and ran to his pickup truck. He pulled out a gun and began firing at the officers; the officers fired back and struck him twice. Burnside was arrested and sent to a nearby hospital.
Apparently, Burnside had seen the broadcast as he told his coworkers the day he was arrested that he anticipated having problems that day. He was convicted of assaulting a federal officer and then returned to Florida. He pleaded no contest to Annette's murder and the attempted one of her coworker. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He died there on November 27, 2015.